Black Friday 2018 and Cyber Monday 2018 in Australia: Everything you need to know

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday encompass one of the busiest shopping periods in Australia. Even though the phenomenon originated in the US and aren’t exactly official sales in Australia, it hasn’t stopped them from becoming popular with both retailers and shoppers.

Outside of Boxing Day sales, it’s the biggest event that sees retailers offer huge discounts on a plethora of items to lure in shoppers. 

Adopting Black Friday and Cyber Monday seems to have paid off as well, with reports from 2017 suggesting Aussies love bargain hunting, mainly making a beeline for fashion and electronics. 

In fact, 2017 saw deal hunters rise early on Black Friday to catch the juiciest worm, with shopping sprees peaking between 6am and 8am, followed by another spree between 3pm and 5pm, with 34% of shoppers in Sydney alone.

When is Black Friday 2018 and Cyber Monday 2018?

Black Friday is the Friday immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, so this year it’s November 23, 2018 in Australia.

Cyber Monday, as the name may suggest, is the Monday immediately after Black Friday. So this year Cyber Monday 2018 will fall on Monday, November 26.

Although the two days are, on paper, individual sales, it’s become hard to distinguish between them. More often than not, retailers begin their Black Friday sales well before the actual day and end the sale well after Cyber Monday, giving shoppers an extended week, sometimes even a month, of excellent bargains.

Why is the sale event called ‘Black Friday’?

Although Black Friday today signifies a fun shopping period, it wasn’t always so. The term ‘Black Friday’ was first used in an article published in the New York Times way back in 1870 in reference to the gold market collapse of 1869. 

However, it was later in the 1960s that police in Philadelphia took to calling the day of sales after Thanksgiving ‘Black Friday’, as they found it impossible to control the hordes of 'doorbusting' shoppers – a phrase retailers used to describe deals so good that shoppers would try and break down the front doors to get at them. 

The history of Black Friday sales

The tradition of sales on Black Friday began in the ‘60s, when American retailers used to mark profits and losses in their ledgers in black and red ink respectively. Before the Christmas season kicked off, retailers tried to turn year-long losses into black-marked profits, thus kicking off the largest and most popular shopping trend of the year.

A single day that brings with it massive savings means that it’s also famous for shoppers battling one another, with each Black Friday bringing a new bunch of YouTube clips showing people fighting over flat-screen TVs.

Australian retailers began to show interest in replicating Black Friday sales locally about six years ago, and the shopping event now gets nearly as much attention as the Melbourne Cup.

But gone are the days of Black Friday doorbuster sales; while many retailers offer discounts in store, the culture of online shopping has caught up, meaning shoppers can beat the crowds and browse the bargains from home or, if the boss isn’t looking, from work.

What’s the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Originally Cyber Monday was unconnected to the Black Friday sales and was introduced as recently as 2005. It was the day – after the spending spree of Black Friday had settled down – that people went, “Yikes! It’s nearly Christmas and I haven’t bought presents yet!”

Cyber Monday was launched as the day online retailers offered big savings to holiday shoppers. Where Black Friday focused mostly on consumer electronics, Cyber Monday catered to things like clothing and accessories. 

But now there’s barely any difference to spot between the two. What is often advertised as a Black Friday sale starts well before the actual day arrives, then rolls over into Cyber Monday and, very often, beyond. The two sales have merged into what could be described as Black Friday And Cyber Monday And The Week Before And After.

Why Black Friday and Cyber Monday matter

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have changed the way we shop in the run-up to Christmas, and they’ve had a massive effect on the retail industry, especially online. 

For the shoppers, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales frenzy means a whole week or more of what appear to be good deals, but if you aren’t too careful, you could end up going overboard.

If you’re savvy, though, and take advantage of TechRadar's Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals monitoring, you really can save a lot of money on some of the hottest tech in town.